The Bloomington Micro-loop is a quick ride that starts at
the Bloomington trailhead for the Bearclaw Poppy trail. It features about
4 miles of nice narrow singletrack, then two miles on gravel road to close
the loop. Total length is 6 miles. There's about 200 feet total elevation
change. The singletrack is easier intermediate-technical. Note that the
northern limb of the loop is the uphill route to Bearclaw below Clavicle
Hill, as sees dramatically more riders than the southern portion.
Cholla cactus in a wash.
The Bloomington Trail is designed to be ridden ONE WAY.
At the trail's west end, you can connect to the Stucki Springs or Bearclaw Poppy
trails, or you can complete the formal Micro-loop by heading
counterclockwise back to the trailhead..
From the Bloomington trailhead, ride westbound on the combined trail.
Stay left to avoid getting lost on alternate lines. Just after you pass the western
corner of the fence around the flood basin (about 1/3 mile from the
step-over gate), fork left when you see the
"Bloomington Micro-loop" sign.
The Bearclaw Poppy trail and the
Bloomington Microloop share this common trailhead. Photos January 14,
There will be some branching sucker trails. Most of them
rejoin. In general, stay to the left and on what appears to be the main
trail as you head northwest through the white desert soil. Don't make new
trails, and try not to follow the branching alternate routes. Respect the
The trail parallels the Roller Coaster
section of the Bearclaw Poppy, which is about 1/3 mile away. Some
"cheater routes" forking to the north go to Bearclaw. In
general, stay left when in doubt.
After about 1/2 mile, the trail will drop in to a wash.
You'll follow the wash bottom a mile or so, still heading northwest.
The wash bottom is usually firm and
smooth. No tire-sinking sand. In this spot, the wash breaks over stone
slabs. The ledges are easy for experts; a bit of a challenge for
About two miles from the beginning of the loop, the trail
climbs out of the wash. You're back on the familiar white clay, still
Bruce's Superfly 100 takes a rest in
Ignore any branching trails here. (Old routes persist a long
time in the desert. If a trail has rocks piled on it, don't go there!)
After a short distance on the white singletrack, you'll reach a clearly
marked 4-way intersection. Straight ahead is the Stucki Springs trail; to
the right is the connector to middle of Bearclaw. (Bearclaw is one-way
from Clavicle Hill back to Bloomington, returning you to the trailhead. Or
you can head north on the two-way portion of Bearclaw.)
When you reach this spot, turn left.
(We're looking straight -- northwest -- at the Stucki Springs trail.)
To ride the loop, turn left at the 4-way intersection. There should be a
"Bloomington Microloop" sign here. Follow the singletrack down into the wash.
The trail will head to the south, following the course of the wash.
(Straight ahead takes you to Stucki Springs and Snakepit.
Left takes you to Clavicle Hill and Bearclaw Poppy.)
View from a small ridge where the
trail shortcuts across a small rise before re-entering the wash.
In several spots, you can either continue down the wash
bottom, or follow the singletrack over shortcuts between goosenecks of the
wash. The riding here is pretty easy. This is a good ride for beginners.
View as we ride the wash bottom.
After about a mile in the wash, you'll reach a gate at
the edge of the Desert Preserve, where the wash opens up. Climb over the
metal gate. (The step-over had been fenced off during my last visit,
probably because idiots with light motorcycles were lifting them into the
The singletrack exits and re-enters
the wash multiple times.
Turn left on the gravel road (Curly
Hollow Road) and head back to the Bloomington Trailhead. You'll spend
about two miles on the dirt road.
Coordinates: Mini-loop forks off Bearclaw Poppy: 37° 03.221' W 113°
Intersection (4-way) with Stucki: 37° 04.156' W 113° 39.390'
Gate as singletrack hits Curly Hollow Road: 37° 03.435' W 113°
If the above video does not appear on your
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Getting there: Go to the west end of Navajo Drive in
Bloomington. Go across the cattle guard. See the low rail on the fence 100 feet to your
right? That's the trailhead. N 37° 03.116' W 113° 37.362'. Start out
on Bearclaw Poppy, and fork left on the mini-loop about 1/3 mile later.
Wide-area view showing microloop in
The loop can be extended by riding Stucki Springs.
Sample Bloomington ride "Snakepit
Figure-eight" with Snakepit, Stucki Spring, and Bearclaw:
0.0 Bloomington TH, step over gate
N37 03.125 W113 37.344
0.2 Fork L on Bloomington Microloop
N37 03.224 W113 37.504
2.4 4-way, keep straight to Stucki Spring
N37 04.160 W113 39.387
2.7 R and into wash for Snakepit
N37 04.268 W113 39.584
2.8 R on edge of wash (in wash = alternate)
N37 04.326 W113 39.699
3.1 Rejoin alternate from wash
N37 04.399 W113 39.907
3.2 Stay in wash (L = up to Stucki)
N37 04.482 W113 40.018
4.4 Snakepit Rim joins on R
N37 05.180 W113 40.836
5.0 Hard L on Stucki Spring trail
N37 05.659 W113 40.933
5.7 Alternates N37 05.387 W113 41.473
(straight = plunge, R = around)
5.2 Alternates rejoin N37 05.366 W113 41.568
6.7 Viewpoint, Cottonwood Wash, turn L
N37 05.227 W113 42.143
9.3 Keep R (L = down to Snakepit)
N37 04.619 W113 40.243
9.6 Keep R (L = to Snakepit)
N37 04.470 W113 40.184
10.3 Keep R at original Snakepit fork
N37 04.261 W113 39.620
10.6 At 4-way, turn L
N37 04.160 W113 39.387
10.7 Bottom of Clavicle Hill, fork R
N37 04.202 W113 39.313
East (R) on Bearclaw Poppy
N37 04.209 W113 39.259
13.0 Back at Bloomington parking